Wadhurst is a market town located in the high Weald on the East Sussex / Kent border. Henry III granted its charter in 1253, allowing Wadhurst to hold a market every Saturday and a fair on the feast of St Peter and St Paul, the 29 June.
Celebrating an industrial past:
Within the church of St Peter and St. Paul there are iron gravestones - 30 of them dating between 1617 and 1790 - more than any other chuirch in Egland. They are particular to the High Weald's heritage as a centre of the iron industry. The church spire rises 38 metres (124 feet) above the ground.
Like many places, Wadhurst benefitted from the arrival of the railway during the Victorian era. Wadhurst's railway station opened in 1851, is the highest in southern England and sits on the line from London Charing Cross to Hastings via Tunbridge Wells.
Notable buildings include Wadhurst Castle, which is built on the site of a much older house formerly known as Maplehurst and mentioned in 14th Century records. Wadhurst Hall was frequently visited by Edward VII. Renamed Wadhurst Park by new owners, the house served as a billet for Canadian Soldiers en route to the Normandy D-Day landings and then as a prisoner of war camp where it fell into a state of disrepair. Parts of the orignal building were retained by the current estate owner.
Claim to Fame:
Wadhurst staged the last great bare-fisted prize fight on December 8th, 1863. Englishman Tom King was victorious over American John Heenan in a fight lasting 36 gruelling rounds. A subsequent public outcry over the brutality of the fight led to calls for reform and the 'sport' was eventually made illegal.
Famous residents include guitarist Jeff Beck and TV presenter Davina McCall.
Hotels, B&B, Guest House and Self Catering places to stay available in and near Wadhurst, East Sussex.